I have had the challenge of moving into a house that was desolate of landscaping and now I have the duty of helping a family member landscape their newly built home. Most of us are landscaping challenged, even if we have a green thumb we may not always have the vision that it takes to plan out a fully designed landscape.
Here are a few tips that I have learned from my past experience: Although pricier your local nursery can be a great resource. Home improvement stores and nurseries always have plants on sale; try to time your purchases with the time of year. Typically you will see most trees and shrubs on sale towards the end of spring as that is optimal planting time. The costs add up quick so it is a good idea to have a plan in place prior to making a larger purchase of plants.
Make sure that you have an idea of where you want to plant and how the plants will be watered. You may also want to consider digging the holes before buying the plants that way you are able to avoid the mad rush of trying to get all of the plants into the ground. Consider what type of plant is best for the location and also monitor the location to decide if it receives full sun, partial shade or is always shaded. Also take into account weather (and wind). What direction does the wind usually come from and if you are in an area that sees heavy winters filled with snow, where does the snow build up the most at? If you are in a warmer client then consider planting a more drought tolerant plant. Another decision you will have to make is annual or perennial. You must also take into consideration that some plants are higher maintenance then others; you don’t want to become a slave to your yard.
So let’s review…
-Have a plan before you buy (map out location, water source and even pre-dig holes)
-Consult a pro (this could be a landscaper or your local nursery)
-Don’t always go with the cheapest plant
-Purchase and plant in phases, it’s less overwhelming this way
-Consider the season, both for when you are planting and what the plant will look like in different seasons
-Take into account color, foliage and texture of each plant
-Plant around or create a focal point
-Include hardscape elements in your design (i.e. rocks, walls and fences)
Everyone has their own personal tastes when it comes to flowers, trees and shrubs. Whether your yard is a blank slate or already established and you are just filling in; choosing the right plant for the right location makes all the difference. Besides getting personal enjoyment out of landscaping and beautifying the neighborhood; if done correctly you can increase your homes value by 5 to 15 percent just by investing in landscaping and making the right landscaping decisions.